Did your child have a low Apgar score at birth? The Fitzgerald Law Firm has successfully handled hundreds of birth injury cases involving low Apgar scores.

What is an Apgar Score?

The Apgar score is the system used one minute and five minutes after birth to quickly check an infant’s general health. This score was developed in 1952 by the anesthesiologist Virgina Apgar and is still used today in most hospitals.

There are five parts of the Apgar test, each ranked either 0, 1 or 2, with 2 being a healthy child.  Each letter in the word Apgar stands for a different section of the test:  Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance and Respiration.  Here is a list of each section of the test and how an infant is rated:


  • 0—Limp, no movement
  • 1—Some flexion of arms and legs
  • 2—Active motion


  • 0—No heart rate
  • 1—Fewer than 100 beats per minute
  • 2—At least 100 beats per minute

Grimace (reflex)

  • 0—No response to airways being suctioned
  • 1—Grimace during suctioning
  • 2—Grimace and pull away, cough or sneeze during suctioning


  • 0—Entire body is completely bluish/gray or pale
  • 1—Good color in body with bluish hands or feet
  • 2—Good color over entire body


  • 0—No breathing
  • 1—Weak cry which may sound like whimpering, slow or irregular breathing
  • 2—Good, strong cry, normal rate and effort

The initial one minute Apgar test is used to determine whether the infant needs immediate medical care. A combined score of 7-10 typically indicates a healthy child that will need little extra care. A score of 4-6 usually means the child may need some assistance breathing such as nostril suctioning or administration of oxygen. If the new born scores 3 or less, immediate lifesaving measures are necessary such as resuscitation.

The five minute Apgar score measures how well the baby is progressing.  Again, a 7-10 score indicates a healthy baby, while a score of 6 or less indicates that further medical attention is needed.

A low Apgar score may be an indication that the baby has neurological deficits caused by injuries suffered during the pregnancy or the birthing process.  Contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm for a free consultation regarding low Apgar scores and medical malpractice. To contact the firm, please call toll-free at 1-800-323-9900 or submit the online contact form. Read some of the firm’s birth injury cases involving medical malpractice and low Apgar scores.